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The relationship between consumers and business is changing from the bottom up

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1. Know That Happy Customers = Returning Customers
What’s the value in relationship marketing?

Relationship marketing is strategy that emphasizes customer retention, satisfaction, and lifetime customer value. Relationship marketing can be defined as marketing to current customers vs. Opportunity and upside have to drive decision-making, so the question remains: What are the potential benefits?

According to a study by Robin Buchanan and Crawford Gillies, the increased profitability associated with relationship marketing is the result of several factors:. In fact, a national consumer survey conducted by TARP Worldwide found most customers place a high value on consistent service and helpful recommendations on new information and products.

No matter how high tech relationship marketing becomes, the high-touch elements of personal support will always be the foundation that excellent customer service is built on. The cornerstones for providing memorable customer support are reciprocity and personalization.

Content marketing is such a hot topic right now that calling it a hot topic has itself become a trope. Traditional paid advertising, the standard interruption marketing method, essentially rents eyeballs or clicks for your business. Once the money stops flowing into those channels, the results stop, too. By contrast, content marketing allows you to build an audience that you can keep.

It should not be viewed as a traditional marketing expense since the returns for evergreen content will last as long as the thoughts stay relevant. But content and relationship marketing as a whole go far beyond acquisition. Using content as a form of support is also marketing. Free resources, help documentation and webinars can marketing to customers as long as the content is educational, enjoyable, and motivational. If you can get past the hype, social media can truly be a useful channel for creating relationships with customers.

As an example, see how FedEx has used social media to build trust and prestige with customers and to successfully resolve issues:. First, he created a contact database where he not only stored information on his clients, but also with vendors and business peers. He now uses the database to document the details of the conversations—both personal and professional—that he has with each of his contacts.

The actions taken by Denisoff are great tips for any business owner to adopt as their own. Here are some additional tips from Denisoff and other business owners on how to build stronger business relationships that will last. How to Build Better Business Relationships: Encourage Honest Feedback "An open, honest relationship demands clear communications of how each party is performing," says Patrick Scullin of Ames Scullin O'Haire , an Atlanta-based marketing services company.

Listen More Than You Talk "We all want to extol our strengths, our virtues in hopes of impressing others and, ultimately, getting more business," says Alisa Cohn , an executive coach. I coach a financial planner and we did a little market research on what his clients value the most in him. Yes, they value his advice and his skills in handling the money, but a lot of financial planners have that. What sets him apart is that he takes the time to listen to them and really understand where his clients are coming from.

They said most often that they value his role as a sounding board, and a few even called him better than a shrink! That's the kind of behavior that leads to referrals and long-term business success. Make A Routine Devise a system to ensure that not too much time passes before you connect with your contacts, such as the formal database Denisoff created. And with the proliferation of social media tools these days such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, it's never been easier to keep in touch.

Be Honest "As a small business owner, it's important that people see me as expert in my field," says Amy Harcourt of Definitive Marketing. I remember an initial meeting with what became one of my best clients. I was meeting with the executive team and was asked about my experience in their industry of which I had none. I could have tried to spin my response to sound like I knew their industry. Instead, I told them that I had no experience and why that might work to their advantage.

I was surprised to see stern, questioning faces turn to friendly nods and smiles. They really appreciated my honesty. And that laid the foundation for a great relationship. Later, you will want to be able to enter keywords like 'sailing' or 'wireless' or 'French' and find all the people you know who match that keyword. Doing keyword mining on your own contacts will pay dividends for years. Take time to learn about their business since it's as important to them as your business to you.

From time to time there will be an opportunity that I will actually refer them to someone that I think could help their business especially where I gain nothing from this. Clients really appreciate it when they realize that you're looking out for them. Be Proactive Using your journal and knowledge of your relationships, forward articles, links and other information that might be of interest to your contacts. Do it every day and the care and feeding of your network will be alive and well. It builds trust and respect.

Being too professional is a bore and well you are not going to enjoy yourself. When Do You Lie? Turn Blunders into Opportunities Admitting mistakes and correcting missteps will take you far when it comes to building relationships, says William Gregory O, who is the co-founder of Lex Scripta , a law firm in Illinois. When one of our service providers made a mistake, which resulted in our service being delayed for a week, the service provider responded immediately with an apology and a proposal for fixing the problem.

Instead of looking for another service provider, we decided to work with this provider because we know that the provider is honest and diligent. When a mistake is more than a minor setback, do something to make it right or otherwise provide value to the wronged party.

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Customer Relationships Definition: The ways in which your company communicates and deals with existing customers When it comes in increasing profits, it's tempting to concentrate on making new.

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Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to manage a company's interaction with current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customers' history with a company to improve business relationships with customers.

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Definition of customer relationship: The development of an ongoing connection between a company and its customers. The relationship involves marketing communications, sales support, technical assistance and customer service. Oct 24,  · At its core, customer relationship management (CRM) is all of the activities, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage their interactions with their current and potential customers.

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Today, customer relationship management (CRM) is an increasingly important aspect of running a business — and a successful strategy is an extremely useful tool for almost any business model. The reality is that business relationships require the same effort to maintain as any other relationship. CEO Michael Denisoff learned that the hard way.